Authorizing Legislation: Section 721 of the Older Americans Act of 1965, as amended (Title VII-A3)
The Purpose of the Program and How it Works
In 1987, AoA established the Prevention of Elder Abuse, Neglect, and Exploitation program. Through the program, AoA provides federal leadership in strengthening elder justice strategic planning and direction for programs, activities, and research related to elder abuse awareness and prevention. This program trains law enforcement officers, health care providers, and other professionals on how to recognize and respond to elder abuse; supports outreach and education campaigns to increase public awareness of elder abuse and how to prevent it; and supports the efforts of state and local elder abuse prevention coalitions and multidisciplinary teams.
AoA allocates grants under this program by formula to states and territories based on their share of the population age 60 and over. States and territories have the discretion to allocate funding among the various activities authorized under the program. They also may choose to distribute funds to Area Agencies on Aging (AAA) and local service providers.
To support this important program, AoA provides funding for the National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA). NCEA serves as a national resource center dedicated to the prevention of elder mistreatment. It provides relevant information, materials, and support to enhance state and local efforts to prevent and address the issue. For an overview of this program, visit the National Center on Elder Abuse website.
Data Show Extensive Services Provided to Seniors
The following examples illustrate how AoA funding also supported state and local programs to prevent elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation of older adults:
In Kentucky, the local AAA participate in the Local Coordinating Councils on Elder Abuse, which have developed emergency elder shelters, developed informational cards for law enforcement officers to have in the patrol cars which contain crucial resource information for victims of elder abuse, provided training on a regular basis to first responders, provided a friendly visitor program for home-based seniors, and produced a prevention tool called the Kentucky Fraud Fighter Form.
The Illinois Department on Aging utilizes its Title VII elder abuse funds to support volunteer community based multi-disciplinary teams (M-Teams) that serve as technical advisors to more than 40 elder abuse provider agencies throughout the state. The objectives of the M-Team are to provide case consultation and assistance to caseworkers and to encourage cooperation among various service agencies. Each M-Team is composed of the M-Team Coordinator and representatives of the following professions: mental health, medical, legal, law enforcement, faith community and financial.
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